Six Months in a Leaky Book

Mentioning Quicksilver reminded me that I haven’t mentioned anything else in the way of books this year, in contrast to last year and all the years before it. I don’t fancy repeating my tour de force of December, but here are a few quick snatches of what’s been through the bookpile since Christmas, apart from page after page of Jack and Eliza.

Read More · 30 June 2005 · Books


Roasting on the Riviera

Villefranche-sur-Mer, French Riviera, 14 June 2005. More soon.

27 June 2005 · Travel

Swiss freeze. Those photos of frozen cars that did the rounds in February.

Beyond fear. Interview with security expert Bruce Schneier. Shame about all those apostrophes that show up as ?s on a Mac.

One down, two to go. This would be a lot easier if I didn’t keep breaking off and reading 300-page novels for light relief. But I’m enjoying it so far, and determined to see it through, even if at this rate it takes another year.


The trouble with this travel-blogging lark is that it leads to a ridiculous amount of self-imposed pressure to write something lasting and profound about every place you pop off to for a few days. It’s even worse when you have a couple of trips in short succession: the second becomes the deadline for the first, even if you don’t feel like writing about it yet, the five rolls of film aren’t back from the processors, and you haven’t had time to carefully arrange them into a virtual coffee-table book to accompany your witty prose. It doesn’t help, either, when in a fit of luddite self-loathing you pack away the iMac for a couple of weeks to force yourself to create something that isn’t wrapped in tags, catching up on the endless parade of new links and blog posts in short snatches on your wife’s laptop, until finally you commandeer it and spend three days creating said photo galleries like you should have done two weeks earlier.

Read More · 12 June 2005 · · Travel

“Back in my day, fractals were our equivalent of rolling 24-hour 3G SMS Xbox nanobot weblog wired directly to your medulla oblongata. Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven! We wept, wept with gratitude that we had lived to see their coming. It was like, O brave new world that has such swirly patterns in it.”

Only a week or two since that musical update and a few more albums have lobbed into view already. Not the Coldplay yet, but I have been listening to the Tears, the together-again project by the two key players of Suede Mk 1. The only reasons for not calling this Suede Mk 3, as far as I can see, are (a) Brett Anderson’s embarrassment over their last album, and (b) Bernard Butler’s embarrassment over leaving before they recorded their best one. Still, Butler was part of their second-best, and this sounds very much like a continuation from Dog Man Star, if not really a match for it. Here Come the Tears even prompted me to listen to A New Morning again, which is not that awful, just uninspiring. Unfortunately, I suspect I’ll end up thinking the same about this, and going back, as I always do, to Coming Up.

Read More · 9 June 2005 · · Music

Want to make the world a safer place? Why not jail a man whose work has saved millions of lives? The plight of Thomas Butler beggars belief. (Via MeFi.)

May 2005